HC Deb 08 May 1907 vol 174 cc245-66

Order read, for further Consideration of First Resolution, "That Income-tax shall be charged for the year beginning the sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and seven, at the rate of one shilling in the pound."

MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

moved an Amendment to reduce the income-tax from 1s. to 11d. in the £. He pointed out that successive Chancellors of the Exchequer in their Budget statements had distinctly said that the income-tax payer ought to be the first to receive relief in respect of the extra war taxation, and yet, while indirect taxation had been reduced, the income-tax had remained unchanged since 1904. A high income-tax was an undue burden upon trade and industry, and acted not only upon profits but upon wages, and it reduced, if it did not take away, the great financial reserve which a low income-tax gave us in time of emergency. Another reason against a high income-tax was the fact that the death duties taken together amounted to more than 2s. in the £. Why was it that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was driven to keep the income-tax at 1s.? It was because during the last thirty or forty years sources of revenue had been dropped which could not be resorted to now. They had been dropped gradually, until the right hon. Gentleman had come down to a very few sources, viz., liquor, tobacco, tea, and sugar. Would the right hon. gentleman or anybody suggest that the duties on these articles could be raised? He thought not. Then, where was he to get his money to meet future expenditure? He was afraid that as the country progressed in population and wealth, we should find that our expenditure would go on increasing from year to year, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have to resort to other sources of revenue. At to what those sources should be, some would suggest that commodities coming from foreign countries should pay a small moderate duty for the use of our markets. It would be in many cases paid by the foreigners themselves, and it would bring in a very large revenue. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to hold some hope that next year, at all events, the income-tax payer would be relieved of a portion of the burden of war taxation which he had borne till now with so much patience.

MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)

seconded the Amendment as a protest against the 1s. rate being considered the normal rate in a time of peace like the present. In the past ten years we had incurred enormous war expenditure, and the income-tax had gone up to as much as 1s. 4d. in the £. But notwithstanding that high rate, the average for the past ten years had only been 11d. and a fraction. If they went back to the Crimean War, 52 years ago, the average for ten years at that time was only 9¼d., and taking the whole sixty years it had been only 7d. in the £. Now in a time of peace they were told it could not be reduced below 1s., and he feared that the Chancellor of the Exchequer looked upon that as the normal rate. Mr. Gladstone at one time spoke of abolishing it altogether, but it was clear that such a step was now totally outside the range of practical politics. The normal rate of the income-tax before the war was 8d., and it had stood at that for years. No one expected it to be raised or reduced. But to keep the tax at 1s. was a 50 per cent. increase, and an extremely serious matter. When the tax was raised from 8d. to 1s., and then to 1s. 4d., it was thought the increase would be temporary, and it was paid. But if they made it 1s. and then raised it to 1s. 4d., and then to 1s. 6d., it was very questionable whether it would be paid with the same facility. If the tax was raised above the rate of 8d., the increase came out of the pockets of the saving classes in a cash form, which entailed one of two things, either that they had to diminish their expenses, which meant a decrease of their spending power and a consequent decrease of wealth and labour in the country, or it must come out of the amount put aside as savings, which formed the very mainspring of the progress and enterprise of the country. It was the small income-tax payers who really were the saving class, and provided the funds out of which great enterprises were built up. When a war broke out and the income-tax was raised, these people cut down their expenses, probably thinking that the income-tax would shortly come back to its normal rate. But if they saw that the increased tax was going to become permanent, in all probability throughout the country they would cut down their expenses (he would be sorry to think for a moment that they would give up their habits of saving); that would mean a decrease of spending power, and it was on their savings that the tax would bear. He thought that some hon. Members on the other side would agree with them that at a time like the present some effort should be made to reduce this taxation. On these grounds he had great pleasure in seconding the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the words 'one shilling,' and insert the words 'elevenpence,"—(Mr. Samuel Roberts,)—instead thereof:—

Question proposed, "That the words 'one shilling,' stand part of the said Resolution."


said it was only out of respect to the hon. Gentlemen who had just spoken that he rose to say one or two words on this subject. The case had been put in a very moderate and able way by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Ecclesall Division; he had nothing to complain of in regard to the manner in which he had presented it to the House. The main point of his argument seemed to be directed against the expediency of having an income-tax at all except as an emergency tax. To keep the income-tax at some rate or another had necessarily come to be a permanent part of our financial machinery, but the statement had been wrongly imputed to him, though he had dis- claimed it more than once, that the income-tax should be kept permanently at 1s. He had never expressed nor held the opinion that the income-tax should permanently remain at the figure of 1s. in the £. Therefore the sole question was whether, having regard to our financial position, any ground had been made out for a reduction. The hon. Gentleman had adduced a new argument or one entirely new in his experience, that if they abolished the income-tax they would put out of employment the persons now engaged in its collection. He had the greatest possible desire not to reduce the revenue, but he did not think that the rentention of a tax would be justified on the ground that its abolition might lead to the diminution of the collecting machinery, and therefore the number of Government employees. But as a matter of fact, if they looked at the past history of the tax, during the years from 1806 to 1816, when the country was very much poorer than it was now, they would find that the tax was at the rate of 2s. in the £, and that burden was willingly borne by our ancestors.


That was when there was a war.


quite agreed. But if they referred to the Crimean War they should also refer to the South African War. He was pointing out that in the early part of last century, when the country was much poorer, our ancestors tolerated an income-tax of 2s. in the £, and managed to live and thrive under that staggering burden.


It was taken off immediately.


said he agreed that it was taken off immediately; but there was a considerable margin of elasticity between 1s. and 2s., if the tax should ever again be raised to that figure. He did not think that was likely; at least, he hoped not. But, as a matter of fact, they were, under his Budget proposals, giving considerable relief to the income-tax payers of the country, not merely in the case of small incomes, but in the case of earned incomes up to £2,000 a year. These incomes would pay 9d. in the £, and when they took into account the abatements which were allowed, together with this relief, they would rind that a very large class, by far the larger body of the income-tax payers, paid on the average not more than 5d., 7d., or 8d. in the £. Therefore, whatever arguments might be adduced in favour of this reduction, he thought they were very considerably minimised when the House took into consideration the actual relief that was being given. He was afraid it was impossible for him to go any further at the present time, and he hoped the House would assent to the retention of the duty at the figure to which it was raised by his predecessor in office.

MR. HARMOOD-BANNER (Liverpool, Everton)

urged that there was an obligation on the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to look carefully into the income-tax with a view to placing it on a perfectly fair basis, so that a man, in paying it, could feel that he was only paying what was honestly due from him; and it was for that reason, as regarded the question of unearned income, that he wished to say a few words. One point which he did not think had been dealt with had reference to junior partnerships and this relief of 3d. in the £. Unless some steps were taken to place the matter on a different basis, in the case of a firm making £10,000 per annum, of which the junior partners received £1,000 per annum, the junior partners would have no opportunity or means so to arrange their claim form exemption that they would be able to take advantage of the 3d. in the £, to which they were as much entitled as any other payers of income-tax. Another point was how the Chancellor of the Exchequer intended to deal with those concerns which were converted into limited companies. Many small concerns which had a profit of from £1,500 to £2,000 a year were entitled to claim the relief of 3d. in the £. Many businesses, for family or other reasons, were converted into limited companies. The shares in the new concern, representing goodwill or a small amount of capital, would receive dividends, and the question was whether those dividends were to be regarded as unearned income on which no relief was to be given. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that there was a very larger number who, for certain purposes, had converted their businesses into limited companies, and they would find themselves deprived of the relief given under the Bill. On the principle of averages, a man, when his average increased, was quite properly called upon to pay the income-tax in respect of it. When, on the other hand, his business was decreasing and his profits were going down, when he made a sudden and heavy loss, as from a colliery explosion, or some other adverse incident of business, then, at that very time, when his capital was all important to him, he was penalised by a demand for income-tax, which made the poor man poorer, and placed him in a very serious position. No one could complain if he only paid on the profits for that year, but it would be a most serious thing if a man had to pay when his business was showing a loss. His losses might be such as to make him bankrupt, and at the same time his creditors would have to pay a large amount in respect of income-tax based on profits which did not really exist. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consider that question. He thoroughly appreciated the effect of the average, still he thought it was not a right thing, and it ought to be abolished.


I shall be very glad to do that.


said that if the right hon. Gentleman was abolishing it in regard to a new business, he did not see why he could not do so in regard to others. There was no fairness whatever in making a man who had lost money pay a heavy sum in income-tax. He was rather sorry to see that the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not deal at the Colonial Conference with the question of Colonial companies and income-tax.


I have discussed that question with the Colonial Premiers at another conference.


said he was glad to hear that. There were many other ways of dealing with preference than by duties, and they might very well consider whether they could not deal with this question so that shareholders of companies registered in this country but transacting the whole of their business in the Colonies should not have to pay income-tax both here and in the Colonies. With regard to the question of interest, he urged that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer taxed interest on the credit side, it was only fair and reasonable that he should make an allowance in respect of interest appearing on the debit side. The present practice was an absolutely dishonest attempt to extort money from income-tax payers. So long as they taxed a man's credit interest and did not make an allowance for his debit interest, so long would they have men saying, "We are dishonestly dealt with, and we will do the best we can to put ourselves straight in our own particular way." Honesty was the best policy, but if they swindled they must not be astonished if people endeavoured to get quits with them. In the matter of depreciation, the Inland Revenue distinctly swindled the public.


I would remind the hon. Member that the only question immediately before the House is the reduction of the tax from 1s. to 11d.


said he was contending that it should be re-reduced because the practices of the income-tax officials were not consistent with the principles of common honesty. If the income-tax was to remain at 1s., men ought to be made to feel that they were being honestly dealt with, and were not the victims of oppression. That could only be done if they applied the principles that obtained as between man and man in a mercantile community. If they applied principles which savoured of extortion, there would be a perpetual effort to evade the tax.

*MR. EVERETT (Suffolk, Woodbridge)

said that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, who was for several years Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late Conservative Government, speaking at Bristol, on 29th September, 1902, said— They would remember that he told them that in the last seven years the ordinary expenditure of the country had increased at no less a rate than £5,500 000 a year! They could not go on that way. They must stop that rate of increase. If they did not what would happen? He would tell them. A 1s. income-tax would be utterly insufficient for the needs of the country even in time of peace: and all the people who complained now of the small taxation that had been imposed upon sugar and corn would be face to face with heavy taxation, not only on those articles but perhaps on other great articles of popular consumption. They would have changed their fiscal system from one of light taxation such as had prevailed for forty years, and under which the industries of the country had been enormously developed, to a system of heavy taxation which would keep those industries down. There was the real explanation of income tax at 1s. in the £. Hon. Gentleman opposite during their ten years of power had increased the annual expenditure of the nation—chiefly by increase of armaments—by nearer £50,000,000 than £40,000,000 a year. Yet they complained of the taxes their profligate extravagance had made necessary. He hoped hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House would have their support when they endeavoured—as they meant to do—to get reduced the present bloated expenditure upon the Navy and the Army. They wanted the money for old-age pensions, of which he rejoiced to say the Chancellor had now definitely given a promise, for which promise, even if it meant continuance of the income-tax at 1s. in the £ he desired heartily to thank him.


said it was perfectly true that they were not entitled to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer held out the prospect to the House of Commons that an income-tax of 1s. in the £ must remain for all time, but the right hon. Gentleman certainly did say that— The Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to budget not for one year but for several years. That indicated that a 1s. income-tax would remain for some years to come. But how did the Chancellor of the Exchequer justify a war income-tax and war indirect taxation in a time of peace? The right hon. Gentleman said— What is a war tax? It is not a tax that is put on to last during a war and to come to an end the moment peace is concluded and your Army is withdrawn from the field. It is a tax which is put on to meet the extra burden imposed on the country by waging war, and so long as that extra burden remains—and it remains to the tune of £130,000,000 of extra debt—the claim of a war tax to be removed is, in my opinion, an inadmissible claim. The right, hon. Gentleman therefore based his action on the proposition that we were not entitled to peace taxation until this £130,000,000 was paid off. But preaching was one thing and practice another. The preaching of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the impossibility of putting taxation on a peace basis while the war debt remained differed from his practice, because the only new debt reduction this year was £1,500,000, apart from the action of the Old and New Sinking Fund Acts, which was automatic, and this £1,500,000 was ear-marked for the purpose of old-age pensions next year: so that after this year we should be paying nothing at all extra to reduce the national debt. He would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what exactly he meant when he said in his Budget speech that the delay in the collection of the income-tax was almost entirely due to the persons directly assessed, and to whom he was going to give relief. The right hon. Gentleman said— We intend that the English machinery shall be levelled up so that it may with equal efficiency correspond to the admirable machinery at work in Scotland. Did he mean by that that the income-tax in England which was not collected until towards the end of the financial year was collected at a much earlier period in Scotland?


said that the law was the same for both countries, but the practice was different.


said that he wanted to see how this particular proposition was going to workout. Were the income-tax payers in England to pay at an earlier date than hitherto?


on a point of order, asked Mr. Speaker what possible relevance the hon. Gentleman's observations in regard to the screwing up of the collection of the income-tax had to the reduction of the income-tax to 11d. as proposed in the Amendment.


said that it was in order to argue that, if a larger revenue was anticipated from a more rigid system of collection, the income-tax should be smaller in amount.


said that it had appeared to him that the questions he was putting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer were relevant in the sense suggested by Mr. Speaker; and no doubt with his ordinary courtesy the right hon. Gentleman would give him an answer at some later period of the debates on these matters,

*MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

said he had asked the other day whether the 1s. income-tax would be paid upon pensions, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the question was open to argument. Since then he had received many letters on this subject from many classes of pensioners. He would put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer three typical cases in which he thought the reduced rate of 9d. should be allowed. They were those of a man who had retired from the Irish Constabulary after forty years' service, an English Civil servant who had served for a full pension, and an Indian Civil servant who had served thirty-five years. He contended that the pensions they received and the allowances made in the case of Indian Civil servants to their widows and orphans were nothing but deferred pay, and therefore should not be liable to the full rate of income-tax. He knew there was an impression that Indian Civil servants had large savings, but surely that tradition had gone for ever. Very few of the Indian Civil servants, for instance, brought home any savings after thirty-five years' service, and when they came back it was quite impossible for them to take part in public life, unless they had private resources, and they were, in almost all cases, owing to age and other circumstances, unable to earn any money in England by means of other pursuits. He submitted that the Irish, English, and Indian Civil servants were deserving of consideration. [An HON. MEMBER: And the Scottish.] He had always thought the Scottish people were capable of looking after themselves, but he had no objection to say that he thought that the Irish, English, Indian, and Scottish Civil servants deserved consideration. They were now expected to feed other people's children as well as their own, and in this way the rates were ever increasing. An income-tax of £50 on a total income of £1,000 a year was very heavy indeed in the case of men who had been accustomed to good positions and had done the State some service. He did not exclude any persioners. A retired ambassador was the man who had the largest pension, and he did not hesitate to say hardly anyone could be poorer than an ex-ambassador who had no resources beyond his pension. He urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with all the insistence of which he was possessed, to give all pensions the lower rate of income-tax. The Indian Civil servant had a particularly strong case, as he contributed at least half, and often nearly the whole of the capital sum from which his pension came, which capital sum was lost to his family on his death. He read letters from gentlemen possessing such pensions, and other pensions showing the history of such cases, and how unjust it would be to treat such pensions like unearned income. He urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give the matter his most earnest consideration.

SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)

supported the Amendment because he thought the proposed abatement would not meet the whole case, although it might appear to accord with the wishes of a great number of people. The income-tax produced £32,000,000, and at the rate of abatement proposed the reduction should be, not £1,250,000, but £3,250,000. The reason the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer did not adopt the larger figure was, he supposed, that he did not think that his abatement would have much effect. Moreover, the three following Budget Resolutions more than took away the advantage which was supposed to be given. Another serious point was that under the present income-tax system no one was supposed to make a full return of all his income, but under the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman persons desiring to claim the reduction would have to show not only that their income did not exceed £2,000, but what was their total income from dividends on the capital which they held. That would have a very serious effect upon City and professional men. In the case of a man whose income amounted to £2,000 altogether, £1,500 a year from his business and £500 the interest on £10,000 which he had saved, in order to get the 3d. rebate he would have to disclose not only that he was earning £1,500 a year, but also his capital, which would be a very serious matter for him. The Chancellor of the Exchequer no doubt would say that all the officials were sworn to secrecy, but there were a large number of income-tax Commissioners, and they, although very estimable people, might very well talk to their wives and families or other people. One of the Commissioners was a member of the Stock Exchange, and under this proposal all the 500 members of that body would have to disclose their capital to him, which was not a desirable state of things.


They can go before Special Commissioners if they choose.


said that might be so, but he believed the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman would be detrimental to those engaged in the business of the country. He thought the advisors of the right hon. Gentleman were perfectly well aware of that, and that was why they had allowed for a rebate of only £1,250,000 instead of £3,250,000. The same thing would happen in the case of the professional man. A barrister, for instance, might not get all the briefs he thought he ought to have and he would not want to disclose to the public and solicitors how few he received. He had been asked in the city to draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman, although he was afraid he should not succeed in getting him to alter his determination, to the question of wasting securities. It was very hard that the wasting securities should be dealt with in the way in which they were by the Income Tax Commissioners. He knew of the case of a company where the capital was £1,000,000. In order to provide for the possible working out of the field of operations in seven years over £311,000 was put aside, and £145,000 was similarly treated for depreciation of machinery and buildings, making a total of £457,000, and leaving available for dividend only £143,000. The income-tax, however, lumped all these sums together and charged income-tax on over £600,000. Not only that, they had to pay on that £457,000 for seven years, and if any of the unfortunate shareholders died their estates had to pay the death duties as well. That was really a state of things which could not be defended. It had this disadvantage that, instead of encouraging thrift in companies and individuals and leading them to set aside money to provide for depreciation, the State penalised them for doing so. The effect of the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's proposals went in the direction of penalising thrift.


I am not responsible for this practice. It has been in existence for sixty-five years.


understood that the Government were returned to remedy abuses and to redress grievances. Let the House consider the case of a man with £1,900 a year. If he spent the £1,900 a year he would pay 9d. income-tax, whereas if he spent only £500 a year and saved the rest and in consequence obtained his income from his savings he would have to pay 1s. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman was as responsible for this injustice as any other Chancellor of the Exchequer during the last sixty-five years.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

agreed with the last speaker that a man who had saved money out of income was entitled as a matter of justice and equity to pay at the lower rate both upon his earned and unearned income in the year. He thought the abatement should act equally upon the income of the earned part and upon that which was derived from capital which had been saved out of income. In Scotland, while they were eager and burning to pay this tax, they did so at the point of the bayonet. They liked to come to the collector and pay their doles at the right time, but in this regard they were driven in Scotland to pay much sooner than in England. He wished to know what the Chancellor of the Exchequer was going to do to mend matters. The House might not know but the Chancellor of the Exchequer was well aware that there was a serious difference between the system adopted for Scotland and that adopted for England. In Scotland, after the income-tax was assessed, the collection of the tax was effected by a revenue officer armed with all the powers conferred upon him by the State. He knocked at one's door at the beginning of January, and if he was not successful in collecting the tax he knocked again at the beginning of February. If the tax was not paid then, about the 15th of February came the process of law. The collection was effected by public officers, who discharged their duty without fear or favour. In England, after the tax was assessed, collectors, who had no special qualifications for the office, were told to collect it. They might make a call and be put off, until in some cases the tax was not collected till June. Only that evening he had been told by an hon. Member that he never paid his income-tax until the middle of June, and saw no reason why he should pay it earlier. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman take steps to improve the collection in England? If the tax was collected in England half as well as in Scotland it would be collected more easily and the yield would be greater. The income-tax was a farmed tax collected by people who were paid for collecting it. The Scottish method was a far better one and compelled his countrymen who did not care to part with their money to pay up in February. A platonic explanation of agreement with what he said was not enough. A little more was required from the Chancellor of the Exchequer than the profession of a desire or even a promise to collect this money better. This was no new complaint, but it was put into a more concrete form because associations were being formed in Scotland having for their object the better collection of the tax. Now that everyone was to be swept into the net it would fall with much greater weight than ever before upon the shoulders of the people. If the right hon. Gentleman meant to catch those who had possibly escaped before he would have to give some promise that the collection of the tax in England should pass into the hands of gentlemen who would discharge their duty with regularity. Moreover, while the financial year ended on the 5th of April and the income up to the end of that year was the income upon which the income-tax was collected, the payment of that tax was due on the 1st of January. Men were called upon, in fact, to pay the tax before it was due. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would also look into the incidence of the tax. There were a great many people who were going to be hard hit by it, therefore he desired that the tax should be collected under the best conditions. It would be no doubt a serious thing for the country to lose a quarter of the year's income, but they in Scotland complained that they were compelled to pay their income-tax in the middle of February which was too soon. He would not be surprised if the right hon. Gentleman had greater trouble in the future than he had had in the past to collect the tax in Scotland. He himself felt that he would be quite justified in telling his friends in Scotland not to pay until the system of collection was altered in England. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give some assurance that he would take the measures necessary to remedy the injustice done to Scotland in this matter.

*SIR J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)

said he did not intend to digress, but would keep strictly to the point of the shilling income-tax. So far as he could ascertain there was no expectation among the commercial or financial classes that the income-tax would be further reduced until more of the debt caused by the Boer War had been paid off. If they came to the capitalist classes—those who invested in Consols or holders of good securities that went up and down with Consols—there was general satisfaction in their minds at the retention of the shilling limit, because they knew it was the only way of stopping the depreciation of their capitalised securities. Amongst the thousands of income-tax payers a vast number would benefit by the reductions already proposed. The great majority of income-tax payers were most eager for the war when it began, and again at the General Election of 1900, they showed by their votes that they wished to spend more on it. With £138,000,000 sterling of War Debt still to pay, they were fully aware as honest men that they must keep on paying the shilling income-tax until the national credit was improved.

SIR THOMAS LOWE (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

said he wished the Chancellor of the Exchequer seriously to consider whether 1s. was not too high a figure for the income-tax in time of peace. Personally he thought 1s. was far too high a figure, and he would vote for any reduction which was proposed. This tax ought to be looked upon in regard to its effect upon commerce and the general prosperity of the country. However much one might hear of the large volume of exports and imports, it was a fact that the trade of the country was far from good at the present time. Many hon. Members would agree that they were not receiving so large an income as they were two or three years ago. The only people who were receiving as much as they did in former years were the members of the Government who drew large salaries which were not subject to any fluctuation. If the income-tax was not reduced it would tend to check enterprise, cripple industry, and destroy confidence. He thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find that it would extend trade and improve the prosperity of the country in other directions if he accepted the Amendment, and the difference would be more than made up from other sources of revenue. It was far more just and also expedient not to apply too much direct taxation. The income-tax was too great a temptation to Chancellors of the Exchequer, because it was easy to collect and obviated the necessity of the Chancellor of the Exchequer exercising his ingenuity in other directions. As a means of conducing to the prosperity of the country it would be wiser and sounder finance to look out for other sources of taxation, and he hoped that when the right hon. Gentleman produced his Budget next year he would not only consider the income-tax from the point of view of revenue, but also

from the point of view of the effect it would have upon the general trade and prosperity of the country.

MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)

asked what was going to be done in regard to incomes from profit sharing in various companies. There were a good many men who were in receipt of small salaries and the rest of their income was from shares in various companies. He thought that such men should have the advantage of the reduction of 3d, in the £. If that was not done the companies would probably alter their arrangements and pay their men in the form of increased salaries instead of partly in the form of dividends. He also asked the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider his decision not to allow a three years' average to be taken. The proposal to pay the income-tax for the present year came as a double hardship to many firms whose profits had been very bad. He knew that the whole question was very much involved and complicated, but he thought such people as he had mentioned should have some consideration from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


reminded the House of the arrangement made not to continue the debate for more than an hour and a half, and suggested that a decision should now be taken.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

said the Opposition did not desire to discuss this Resolution further, and as regarded the remaining Resolutions he hoped they would be passed rapidly. But by passing those Resolutions sub silentio it must not be taken that the Opposition accepted them; they retained full liberty to discuss the questions involved at a later stage.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 323; Noes, 87. (Division List No. 163.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Acland, Francis Dyke Alden, Percy
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Agnew, George William Ambrose, Robert
Armitage, R. Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Joyce, Michael
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N. Kearley, Hudson E.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dilke, Rt, Hon. Sir Charles Kekewieh, Sir George
Asquith, Rt. Hon. HerbertHenry Dillon, John Kelley, George D.
Astbury, John Meir Dolan, Charles Joseph Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Atherley-Jones, L. Donelan, Captain A. Kettle, Thomas Michael
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Duckworth, James Kilbride, Denis
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Duffy, William J. Laidlaw, Robert
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Barker, John Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Lambert, George
Barlow, JohnEmmott (Somerset Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lamont, Norman
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Barnes, G. N. Elibank, Master of Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Barran, Rowland Hirst Erskine, David C. Lehmann, R. C.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Esslemont, George Birnie Levy, Maurice
Beale, W. P. Evans, Samuel T. Lewis, John Herbert
Beauchamp, E. Everett, R. Lacey Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Bellairs, Carlyon Faber, G. H. (Boston) Lough, Thomas
Benn,W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Fenwick, Charles Lundon, W.
Bennett, E. N. Ferens, T. R. Lyell, Charles Henry
Bethell, Sir J. H (Essex, Romf'rd Ffrench, Peter Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Billson, Alfred Field, William Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Findlay, Alexander Maclean, Donald
Black, Arthur W. Flynn, James Christopher Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Blake, Edward Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Bowerman, C. W. Fuller, John Michael F. Macpherson, J. T.
Brace, William Ginnell, L. Mac Veigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Branch, James Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John M'Callum, John M.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Glendinning, R. G. M'Crae, George
Brigg, John Glover, Thomas M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Bright, J. A. Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Killop, W.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Gooch, George Peabody M'Micking, Major G.
Brooke, Stopford Grant, Corrie Maddison, Frederick
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Greenwood, Hamar (York) Manfield, Harry (Northants)
Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Markham, Arthur Basil
Bryce, J. Annan Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Meagher, Michael
Burke E. Haviland Hall, Frederick Meehan, Patrick A.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Halpin, J. Menzies, Walter
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Micklem, Nathaniel
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Harrington, Timothy Molteno, Percy Alport
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Hart-Davies, T. Money, L. G. Chiozza
Byles, William Pollard Harwood, George Mooney, J. J.
Cairns, Thomas Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Cameron, Robert Haworth, Arthur A. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hayden, John Patrick Morrell, Philip
Causton, Rt. Hn. RichardKnight Hazleton, Richard Murnaghan, George
Cawley, Sir Frederick Healy, Timothy Michael Murphy, John
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hedges, A. Paget Murray, James
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Henry, Charles S. Myer, Horatio
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe Napier, T. B.
Cleland, J. W. Higham, John Sharp Nicholls, George
Clynes, J. R. Hobart, Sir Robert Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W. Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Nolan, Joseph
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Hodge, John Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Cogan, Denis J. Hogan, Michael Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Holden, E. Hopkinson Nussey, Thomas Willans
Condon, Thomas Joseph Holland, Sir William Henry Nuttall, Harry
Cooper, G. J. Holt, Richard Durning O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Hooper, A. G. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N O'Doherty, Philip
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Horniman, Emslie John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Grady, J.
Crean, Eugene Hudson, Walter O'Hare, Patrick
Cremer, William Randal Hutton, Alfred Eddison O'Malley, William
Crombie, John William Illingworth, Percy H. O'Mara, James
Crooks, William Jacoby, Sir James Alfred O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Crosfield, A. H. Jenkins, J. O'Shee, James John
Dalziel, James Henry Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Parker, James (Halifax)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor(Swansea Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Delany, William Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Phillipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)'
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh S.) Jowett, F. W. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Verney, F. W.
Power, Patrick Joseph Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Vivian, Henry
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Seaverns, J. H. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Seddon, J. Walsh, Stephen
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Seely, Major J. B. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Pullar, Sir Robert Shackleton, David James Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Radford, G. H. Sheehy, David Waring, Walter
Rainy, A. Rolland Sherwell, Arthur James Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Raphael, Herbert H. Shipman, Dr. John G. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Silcock, Thomas Ball Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Waterlow, D. S.
Reddy, M. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Watt, Henry A.
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Redmond, William (Clare) Snowden, P. Weir, James Galloway
Rendall, Atherstan Stanger, H. Y. Whitbread, Howard
Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'm'pt'n Steadman, W. C. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Richardson, A. Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Ridsdale, E. A. Strachey, Sir Edward Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wiles, Thomas
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Wilkie, Alexander
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd) Stuart, James (Sunderland) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Sutherland, J. E. Williams, Llewelyn(Carmarth'n
Robinson, S. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Roche, John (Galway, East) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh.N.)
Roe, Sir Thomas Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Rowlands, J. Thomasson, Franklin Young, Samuel
Runciman, Walter Tillett, Louis John Yoxall, James Henry
Russell, T. W. Tomkinson, James
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Torrance, Sir A. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland Toulmin, George Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Acland-Hood, Rt, Hn. Sir Alex. F. Fardell, Sir T. George Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Fletcher, J. S. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Forster, Henry William Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Banner, John S. Harmood Gordon, J. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester) Haddock, George R. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Hamilton, Marquess of Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hervey, F. W. F (Bury S. Edm'ds Starkey, John R.
Boyle, Sir Edward Hills, J. W. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hornby, Sir William Henry Stone, Sir Benjamin
Campbell, Rt, Hon. J. H. M. Houston, Robert Paterson Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Rowland Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Tuke, Sir John Batty
Cave, George Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W. Valentia, Viscount
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. W. Kimber, Sir Henry Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clark, Geo. Smith (Belfast, N.) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lowe, Sir Francis William Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Courthope, G. Loyd Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Marks, H. H. (Kent) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Younger, George
Craik, Sir Henry Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cross, Alexander Moore, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Dalrymple, Viscount Morpeth, Viscount Samuel Roberts and Mr. Fell.
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Ake s O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Faber, George Denison (York) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)

Resolution agreed to.